The tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis theivora) is a polyphagous pest, which is associated with a wide range of host plants, including dozens of families. Feeding on different plant species exposes the insects to diverse phytochemicals. The heat shock proteins (HSP) that are abundantly expressed in insects are important modulators of insect survival and expressed in response of various stress conditions such as abiotic stress and biotic stress. In this study, we compared the expression of HSPs in H. theivora when reared on in the primary host tea (Camellia sinensis) and its alternative host, Duranta (Duranta repens). While comparing the host-based variation, HSP70 was expressed more in Duranta than on tea-reared H. theivora, whereas there is no significant difference in HSP90 on both hosts. From the present investigation it may be opined that the expression of HSP has a protective role in H. theivora during host switching.
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